India’s G-20 opportunity for an African Renaissance

Source: The post is based on the article “India’s G-20 opportunity for an African Renaissance” published in The Hindu on 25th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

News: The author talks about Africa’s challenges and reduced global support. They mention military takeovers, major global players, and India’s potential help through ties and forums.

What are the major challenges faced by Africa?

Governance Issues: Africa is facing challenges of misgovernance, the dominance of ruling tribes, and rampant corruption. An illustrative example of this is the recent resurgence of military rule in nations like Egypt, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

Security Concerns: The continent is under constant threat from Islamic terror outfits and deep-rooted inter-tribal conflicts. Past military interventions by global powers like France, the US, and Russia’s Wagner Group have often worsened the situation rather than resolving it. A case in point is the division and power struggles among armed forces in Libya and Sudan.

Socio-Economic Disruptions: Africa faces hurdles like unplanned development, adverse effects of climate change, rising food inflation, rapid urbanization, and soaring youth unemployment.

Eroding International Support: Global powers such as China, Russia, France, UK, and the US are showing dwindling support for the continent. For instance, the slowdown in China’s economy has reduced its trade with Africa, plunging many African nations into debt.

External Exploitation: Colonial-era powers and the US continue to exploit Africa’s rich mineral resources. Meanwhile, a significant concern for Europe is curbing illegal migration originating from Africa.

What role has India played in Africa to overcome these challenges?

Deep Historical Ties: India’s relationship with Africa is rooted in history, from Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha against apartheid to UN peacekeeping roles.

Trade and Investment: India-Africa trade amounted to $98 billion in 2022-23. India was the fifth largest investor in Africa, providing over $12.37 billion in concessional loans.

Educational and Socio-Economic Engagements: India has completed 197 projects in Africa and granted 42,000 scholarships since 2015. Focus areas include education, healthcare, telecom, IT, and agriculture.

Technological and Financial Innovations: India can offer African nations innovative solutions like the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile), DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer), UPI (Unified Payments Interface), and Aspirational Districts Program.

People-to-People Ties: Around three million people of Indian origin reside in Africa, strengthening cultural and social bonds.

In summary, India’s multifaceted engagement with Africa positions it to offer support both bilaterally and through multilateral forums.

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